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Buy a mesh avatar. Do not use it yet, buy a mesh head, do not use it yet.

Now, go make a whole new shape, forget those classic option avatars. Edit the wonkiness out of it. Create, inspire, Do it. Fight with windlights to see how it looks in different lightings, undergo that awesome feel when you figure out that the bigger the boobs, the weirder and bumpier they look (broccolli) The nose's features that go from horrid, to satisfying, and back to horror again.

What looks best on you, put it in, go as far as you can limit yourself, create something, that when you finally do use your mesh body.... You will feel cheated out, because your shape was almost identical.

Work on that mesh body, let those colours match up to the mesh head of your choice. Be extremely picky with those mesh heads though, they apparently only have on colour, or I have not seen appliers for them yet. If they are there, go on that crazy wild hunt for more skin tones. Then, go on a hunt to find the best shoes, pants, tops, accessories, hairs, whatever.

 

And when you are done... 

Have a nap, for the nice work you have delivered. 

 

Ps: Good mesh bodies that I only know of, is the Maitreya mesh body named Lara. around the 3k lindens, the mesh heads have a price of 3k as well, unless you go to the gacha bonanza and get the genesis head <- they are limited, but around 200L so you can actually save up on it, get the rare one, just to make yourself feel special. I know I would, but I cannot do those skin colours.

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Should I edit my starter avatar?

Or

Should I buy a new/better avatar and edit that one to fit my wants?

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Yes, if you want to stay in SL. You can wait a bit and see if you like us. :heart: Follow advice from Rhonda and change to a classic avatar.

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Mesh or no?

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Do you plan to be undressed a lot of the time? If so, yes. The default classic avatar has lots of ugly breaks and pointy parts.

If you will only visit a beach a few times, I would say that you don't need a mesh avatar. It is much more easy to customize and wear clothes on the classic avatar.

And are you male or female? If you are female, you can save money on picking up a free quality avatar in Pink Fuel Mainstore. This is a good skin in 4 tones and a good shape. The shape is modify.

If you are male, the free products is fewer. Any idea of what you want to spend? Makeover tutorial on the more expensive side: http://www.canarybeck.com/2015/03/30/the-2-hour-mens-second-life-makeover-style-guide/

You can buy a lot and use much money if you are male or female. Or you can be frugal and cut costs. This will limit your choices to what's for sale in events or SL Marketplace promos.

Ok, if you are barefeet a few times, you need male mesh feet from Slink. For females, you need the high feet and flat feet from Slink. The flat because you don't want to walk barefeet on tiptoes? The high because so many shoes is made only for mesh feet.

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So if you want to get a mesh body, read up on the blog meshbodyaddicts.com. It is reviews and tutorials.

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Search Second Life fashion blogs and find a blogger that fit your style. They post credits so shopping is much more easy.

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Fiore Meiyo wrote:

Buy a mesh avatar. Do not use it yet, buy a mesh head, do not use it yet.

 
....

Really, don't do these things.

Mesh components are expensive and newbies generally find them hard to understand. Acquire a tonne of (usually free) demo mesh components and play with them to your heart's content, but unless you have money to throw around, don't buy any full-price mesh until you know what you are doing.

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Pink Fuel starter is a good place to start. Don't buy a mesh body or parts until you are familiar with the basics. After you are comforatble with those, then you can think about a mesh body. The top 3 are Slink, Maitreya and Belleza. I have all 3 and they all have their pros and cons. Slink, along with GInc, Islena(formerly Banned) etc, are less expesive but you still have to buy hands and feet. 

If you are female, you'll proably want to at least get the Slink high feet since they are the most popular for shoes right now. Demo skins until you find one you like. I'd be sure they have Omega appliers myself. Those are what you use on the mesh parts and almost all of the mesh bodies now take Omega appliers. Don't worry about those right now, just something to keep in mind.

As I said, get yourself grounded in the basics with the default avi. Then demo, demo, demo. Find the body you like. My go to is the Belleza Isis but I use the Slink and Maitreya as well. Find the one YOU like. 

Good luck.

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If you read the whole of my comment, without just taking a bit out of it, it says in short.

 

Get those mesh objects, but at least work on base avatars until you get the hang of it, so you atleast understand the mesh parts. And those mesh avatars are actually not hard at all, you put them on, if they are good ones, as I provided with a good mesh body name, then get a mesh head, where I provided with a good retailer that isn't high end on the price.

Then as you put them together, seeing how you are probably going for a caucascian skintone, there is absolutely nothing that you need to do. They almost if not all, look alike. Except for makeup. And depending on which is your favourite skin caretaker.

And that is it.

However I spoke mostly about how you should work on your avatars shape first, if you are not in the mood to wear mesh avatars. 

Reading, not everyone does it right.

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Fiore Meiyo wrote:

If you read the whole of my comment, without just taking a bit out of it, it says in short.

 

Get those mesh objects, but at least work on base avatars until you get the hang of it, so you atleast understand the mesh parts. And those mesh avatars are actually not hard at all, you put them on, if they are good ones, as I provided with a good mesh body name, then get a mesh head, where I provided with a good retailer that isn't high end on the price.

Then as you put them together, seeing how you are probably going for a caucascian skintone, there is absolutely nothing that you need to do. They almost if not all, look alike. Except for makeup. And depending on which is your favourite skin caretaker.

And that is it.

However I spoke mostly about how you should work on your avatars shape first, if you are not in the mood to wear mesh avatars. 

Reading, not everyone does it right.

Was that aimed at me? It feels like it was aimed at me. It's hard to tell because you answered the OP. Replying to posts, not everyone does it right*.

Yes, I understood that someone learning to change avatars should play around with the basic avatar. I'd have made exactly that point myself if you and others hadn't discussed it so well already. 

The big point is that you should do all that experimentation first, not after you've bought expensive mesh components. Your post started with buying the mesh then putting it aside. Why on earth would you do that? Experiment first, buy later. Surely?

As to mesh avatars being simple... a huge number of posts from both new and old residents ask advice on mesh avs. How do the layers work? Why doesn't the neck fit? Can I wear mesh boobs with it? Why can't I see my clothes? Week in and week out people are asking for this kind of advice. You might find it simple but other people have clearly struggled. 

 

*you might noticed I quoted you in my first post, but replied to the OP. That's because the advice was directed to him/her, but the relevant information was in your post. 

 

 

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I have to agree with Kelli. DON'T buy mesh parts first. Wait. 

For one thing, not everyone wants a mesh avatar. Not everyone will use a mesh avatar. Why buy the parts and then find out you don't want to use them? That's an awfully expensive bit of clutter in your inventory, if you're not going to use it. 

Explore the default avatar first. Decide what you want to look like, and get there using whatever means works for you. Personally, I bought a shape with a face that I liked, faces being the hardest part to edit, and then I edited the body into something that worked for me. I also made tweaks to the face to make it suit me better. Just make sure, if you buy a shape, that it's Mod/Copy, so you can make a copy, edit it, and have a back-up copy in case you're not happy with the changes! You can do this same thing by editing any of the Classic starter avis; I just found it personally easier and faster to buy something I sort of liked and edit it until I loved it.

Once you've got a shape you like, you can check out mesh body demos. There are a lot of options, and in my opinion they are very different. Mesh Body Addicts is an amazing blog that not only tells/shows you what's out there, but also details many of the features, both good and bad. If you want a mesh body, check them out! Demo, demo, demo. (Note that even once you have perfected your base shape, you may want to edit it slightly to suit your mesh body, if you get one.) 

I do suggest that you get Slink hands and feet. Hands and feet are probably the two least attractive features on the default body. Many shoe creators are now creating mostly or solely for Slink feet, and the hands just...look better. A lot better. 

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Ariel Vuissent wrote:

I have to agree with Kelli. DON'T buy mesh parts first. Wait. 

For one thing, not everyone wants a mesh avatar. Not everyone will use a mesh avatar. . 

This^^

You can still make top look avatars with the system body.  I often see comments in profiles like "I would rather eat a worm than wear mesh boobs!"

Save mesh body shopping for later.  It's not going anywhere.  Meanwhile, learning proportions while playing with shapes is knowledge that works with either system or mesh bodies.

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No, you do not HAVE to purchase a mesh head. I haven't done so, myself, and pretty much refuse to until a) my favorite skin creator releases more head appliers, and b) until mesh heads are more customizable or I can find one I like more than what's currently on the market. (Although Genesis Labs heads are GORGEOUS, but only available in Gachas, as far as I know...and again, my favorite skin creator doesn't make appliers!)

If you choose to purchase a mesh head, I believe most/many of them work with at least some, if not all, mesh bodies. Again, check out that Mesh Body Addicts blog - she does some head reviews, which sometimes include which bodies are compatible. Otherwise, again, try demos! Try lots of demos. Try as many demos as you can get your hands on! They don't usually cost anything ($1L at most), and although they're not the full version of the product, they give you an amazing overview. 

There are lots of brands of mesh heads, just like there are lots of brands of mesh bodies. Slink, LeLutka, and TMP are among the most popular. Logo has some good ones, and like I said, Genesis Labs heads are absolutely stunning. But I really do suggest you familiarize yourself with the standard shape first, then venture out from there.

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I have more than one avatar, so I don't have all on this account. Here is what I have tested:

 

  • TMP body with default head - success
  • TMP body with TMP head - success (Obviously!)
  • Maitreya body with default head - success
  • Maitreya body with TMP head - success 
  • Maitreya body with Lelutka head - success
  • Maitreya body with Catwa head - success
  • Maitreya body with Genesis lab head very good
  • Maitreya body with LOGO Alex head - success
  • Slink body with default head - success
  • Slink body with Genesis lab head - success

 

Of all the bodies I have bought, Belleza was a huge disappointment. The neck fit was hopeless, could not be overlooked at all. I have heard that the update is much better, but it sits in my inventory because I alredy moved on to Maitreya. No matter if you use default head or a mesh head, the body skin and the head skin should be the same. If you try to use a neck blender, it is a 80% match... or less.

The difference in Genesis Lab can be that they release heads all the time, their newer ones much better, but old ones are still sold on the MP.  My Makena head is perfect with Slink. For references to the heads, look on their Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/genesislab/pool/sl-kalina/

I will recommend Maitreya as body. It is so popular that some brands do not release fitted clothes for other bodies. (Emery)

The TMP is the most expensive and the most difficult to use. It is less popular after Maitreya was released.

Slink appear to be a cheap body until you have to add hands and feet. At least one pair hands and two pair feet. (450+675+675) But look at the breast shape in particular. Some prefer Slink, some Maitreya.

Belleza has their fans and as said, I can not judge them fair because the first release was a total miss for me. Some praise their curvy body because they prefer that one.

Heads... now that is tough. It s new heads released very fast now, I change my preferences from head to head. The TMP heads has a good look, but again the styling is hard with their infamous styling HUD. The LeLutka head was then the best. Then LOGO released Alex with a ton of expressions and then updated Chloe. LOGO still has a drawback because they don't have separate makeup layers. The Genesis Lab heads are wonderful and so diverse, but they are confusing. I find it hard to navigate all their heads. Some can change skin, some can change makeups, some have expressions, some not, some are sold in Gatchas, some for a full price. The eyes are hard to match unless you use the provided eyes.

The Catwa head is the last beauty at the ball, totally new, got a lot of attention, cheaper than TMP, more expensive then the others but many expressions. The only head that has "live" expressions, not only static. Mouth can move while typing/talking if you toggle that button. I thnk the blog http://meshbodyaddicts.com is recommended to you already, read the reviews, pick up demos. I think a body is enough for you to start with. As said... nothing is going to disappear. You don't have to hurry.

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Fiore Meiyo wrote:

Buy a mesh avatar. Do not use it yet, buy a mesh head, do not use it yet.

Now, go make a whole new shape, forget those classic option avatars. Edit the wonkiness out of it.

Mesh heads do NOT work with shape dials, so there is really never any point in time when they are a good buy. Neither for new users or old.

Mesh bodies are not at all hard to configure, trivially easy in fact. But I don't recommend just buying one until someone has demo'd the various options and found the choice that fits their preferences.

The best way is not to buy the mesh avatar, but to get the demos of every brand you can find - and then edit shapes on them, AND edit physics files on them. Try them out with some dances, with walking, and with running. Try them with some demo clothing made for them - to make sure that you can dress yourself the way you want.

Use all the demos you can find until you find a choice that works for your sense of style.

 

On issues of preference:

I personally would never recommend Maitreya to someone - I don't like how it reacts to physics and the shape is a little odd. BUT this is subjective opinion. I much prefer the way Belleza reacts to physics and find that, at least with Belleza Freya, I can create a much nicer set of shapes.

 

The disclaimer for me is that I only ever use a mesh body now, pretty much always Belleza or Solarian (neko or furry), and I have written reviews of Belleza, Solarian, and a few other options, as well as make a freebie shape and physics kit for Belleza. So that is my bias on this issue, or my experience on this issue - depending on how you perceive that statement.

 

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